Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire says, “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Is that really a plan for getting by in life? The obvious answer is no. Given the degradation that seems to be going on in American society, the kindness of strangers has been replaced by apathy and voyeurism. At best you can hope, if someone happens to stop by your emergency, they will pull out their phone and start videoing the situation.
This might not be the case everywhere, but in urban environments, it is becoming more and more evident that no one is coming to your rescue. Getting by on dumb luck or the kindness of strangers is not a game plan thriving let alone surviving when the punches start to swarm on you.
Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail
A plan does not necessarily have anything to do with equipment. It could be just as simple as knowing the environment you live in or are going to or through and responding accordingly. In the case of the hikers mentioned in Part One of this series, assessing your physical conditioning would be the first step in this. Secondly, studying the area via a hiking trail map app would have been smart. Better yet, downloading that map to one of their mobile devices would have been smarter. Thirdly, stuffing a daypack with some water and snacks would have been a nice alternative to suffering dehydration and energy loss. And last, informing some friends or co-workers about your plans that day would have been very helpful, should the first three measures not adequately insulate you from a Murphy’s Law incident.
Other scenarios have differing responses. A scenario that is becoming getting a lot of attention these days is personal security. Safe areas are just not so safe anymore, or at least that is what we are being shown in countless video clips circulating on social media. How does a person properly address personal safety? What about security in your own residence? What steps have you taken to help ensure safety there?
Many consumers have bought a firearm in response to this issue and that’s laudable. There is nothing wrong with that at all. So long as you are complying with your local laws, developing proficiency in using it, and actually carrying the firearm, this is a net positive. But buying a firearm, or even carrying it daily is not the end-all answer to the issue. It is just one piece of the personal security puzzle.
How many pieces are in the personal security puzzle? As many as you can imagine. Once again, knowing the area you live in or are going to is crucial. Some areas of a town are just not the same as other areas. Likewise, an area that is fine during the daytime might not be so nice when the sun goes down.
Then there is the unexpected. Do you know where the next riot will occur? Here’s the kicker, no community is truly insulated from flash violence. We’ve seen that trouble can be bussed in overnight and stay longer than you expect. If you are waiting around for a special occasion before you purchase some gear, you are too late. That gear is over there and you are over here and the gulf between the two might as well be an ocean.
What, When, and How
Whether you need gear, training, practice, or to closely examine your daily routines and security measures or all of the above, there’s no time like now to get started. A person has to make an honest assessment of their physical and mental conditioning in addition to examining the gear employed and the environment you live and work in to get an accurate measure on how your current level of preparedness stacks up with what it should be. This requires systematic thinking and honest self-reflection in order to be meaningful. Moreover, shortcomings must be addressed.
In part three of this series we will dig into these topics more to flesh out the realities of being better prepared for the worst. No one is coming to your rescue.